Eye on Big Four opportunities
Kenya should make more efforts to identify its competitive edge, diplomat tells cooperation forum
According to Guo Ce, the economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, the Chinese hope to increase their investments in the country.
“We want to grow together,” he told the forum, adding that the large trade deficit between the two countries in favor of China is a result of market dynamics of demand and supply.
Guo emphasized that China is eager to build a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with the regional governmental organization East African Community and, as a result, has been promoting programs such as peopleto-people exchanges as well as cultural and training initiatives that have seen more than 500 young people and civil servants receive training in China.
“The master’s and doctoral degree programs have seen an uptick in the number of Kenyan students undertaking programs in prestigious Chinese universities under the government scholarships.”
Guo urged the country to identify its competitive edge and participate in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, to be held in November, saying that it will be a great opportunity for Kenya to showcase its products on a global platform.
Ma r g a r e t Mwakima, the principal secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told the forum that Kenya is working closely with China to beef up security and wildlife conservation efforts, which is considered crucial to the tourism sector. Her recent visit to Shanghai resulted in a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Institute of International Studies to provide a high-tech, integrated surveillance system to map the movement of wildlife — particularly elephants — vehicles and humans around protected areas to enhance security against poachers and to curb human-wildlife conflict.
“China is not only investing, but also contributing to conservation efforts,” she said.
Mwakima said her ministry is working toward increasing the number of Chinese visitors to 1 million by 2020.
Johnstone Kavuludi, chairman of Kenya’s National Police Service Commission, said measures are in place to increase security around national projects such as the standard gauge railway, as well as Chinese property and individuals.
Zhuo Wu, chairman of the Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce, told the forum that the local Chinese business community is ready to partner with local counterparts to increase investments and trade between the two countries.
On the issue of affordable housing, the cooperation between China and Kenya can play an important role and benefit both parties, said He Xiang, general manager of Jiangxi Water and Hydropower Construction Kenya Ltd, at the forum. He said Chinese companies have full advantage of capital and technology in the field of housing, and can provide a basket of solutions from design and production of building materials to standardization of building technologies and also have advances in project management and finance.
“We believe that with increased supports and collaborations from both Chinese and Kenyan governments and the private sectors, we will continue to cooperate together and help Kenyan government push forward its vision 2030 and the big Four agenda smoothly and successfully,” he said.
Guo Ce, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Kenya.